To strengthen the rural economy and empower the youth and women with direct and indirect employment opportunities, the Government of Jammu and Kashmir has identified 181 villages having picturesque beauty and cultural significance for transformation into tourist destinations under Tourist Villages Development Program (TVDP), stated the Department of information and public relations JK.
Under Mission Youth’s initiative, registered youth and Self Help Groups are provided an opportunity to be a part of the Government’s endeavour to boost rural tourism in J & K.
According to the official statement, the youth-led sustainable tourism initiative will strengthen the rural economy and community entrepreneurship, empowering youth and women by providing direct and indirect employment opportunities. This step will showcase the landscapes, indigenous knowledge systems, cultural diversity and heritage, local values and traditions, besides encouraging film shooting and offering financial incentives as well as ensuring a digital platform for all these villages.
As per the statement, Mission Youth is working in collaboration with the Tourism Department for utilizing the available resources in the development of these villages as tourist villages. The government will also develop basic infrastructure in these villages under the close supervision of the Task Force that has already been constituted and any group willing to be part of the Government’s initiative will be given Rs 10 lakh as financial assistance for self-employment activities in the tourism sector.
Further, an amount of Rs one lakh will be given for the creation of a homestay facility and there will be a subsidy of Rs 50,000. This step will go a long way in attracting tourists to those areas which remained unexplored to date.
Moreover, up to Rs 8-10 lakh incentive will be provided for movie/song shootings in these villages, also aimed at the promotion of these rural tourist destinations. Preference will be given to local registered artists having sufficient experience in the grant of assistance for shootings in the identified villages, as per the Department of information and public relations JK.
Similarly, a dedicated portal – AVSAR-‘Connect to Opportunities Initiative’- has been provisioned to facilitate our youth with real-time information flow notifying students about pre-placement activities and job opportunities. All ITIs and other technical institutions in the UT were on-boarded in the program for achieving the best outcomes for our youth.
The easily accessible online platform would act as an interface between a trained and skilled workforce and will also deal with industry requirements in J & K. Under the New Industrial Scheme, special focus is given to the training of local youth to fulfill the needs of the skilled workforce.
According to the official statement, another program “Sahyta” has been rolled out to provide special financial assistance for youth in distress. Financial assistance of one lakh is being provided under the scheme to youth in distress for setting up solo self-employment units.
Under a sector-specific scheme for dental professionals, customized financial support is being provided to dentists for setting up dental clinics. An amount of 8 lakh is provided as financial assistance under this scheme for setting up their venture.
Another scheme “Rise Together” envisions promoting community-based entrepreneurship optimally to generate jobs, and income and promote the spirit of social service among new-age young entrepreneurs in J & K. Under the scheme, the eligible youth groups are provided with financial assistance to the extent of Rs 20 lakh comprising of upfront subsidy component minimum of Rs 2.5 lakh or 10 percent of the project cost and a loan provided by the Bank to the extent of Rs 17.50 lakh.
With all these initiatives, the government has endeavoured to make the interest and empowerment of youth a top priority. The government envisions reaching out to all the young population of Jammu & Kashmir within the next five and making it possible for them to be actually a propelling force for the socio-economic transformation of Jammu and Kashmir.
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